Serial's Sarah Koenig To Headline Fort Worth's Podcasting Movement

Categories: Media

Courtesy of

Just like Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror and The LEGO Movie, the podcast series Serial became one of those pop culture moments that everyone you knew ordered you to consume. Everyone on social media ate up your precious bandwidth with their thoughts and feelings on the latest, surprising details to come out of each new episode and the only way you could remain relevant to their existence was to consume it and discuss it along with them.

Of course, there's a very good reason why these types of shows, movies and podcasts earn such glowing praise. They accomplish something that so much mindless media fails to even attempt: They make you feel emotions that are real and genuine.

So it makes perfect sense that the latest and biggest innovator in the art of podcasting should be part of the biggest podcasting convention in the country. Fort Worth's Podcast Movement announced that Serial host Sarah Koenig will close their first convention to what's sure to be a packed room of attentive ears.

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Dallas-based Nathan Nipper Details Soccer-Obsession in Award-Winning Book

Categories: Books, Media

Nathan Nipper Twitter
Screenwriter-Turned-Soccer Coach-Turned-Author Nathan Nipper.

Between 1987 and 1989, Nathan Nipper, the Bedford-based author of Dallas 'Til I Cry: Learning to Love Major League Soccer, was a soccer-obsessed 12 year-old son of missionary parents on the go. In those two impactful years, the Nippers moved from Rose Bud, Arkansas (population 202 at that time), to Fort Worth for a few months, then to Tours, France for another short stint where the parents attended language school, eventually landing in Dakar, Senegal, where they would remain for four years until moving back to the States in 1993. The map-dotting journey served as a mechanism which enabled Nipper to morph from a simple soccer kid into a full-fledged football fanatic.

In the late 1980's, Nipper was an active youth player with an insatiable thirst for soccer. At an age when many boys in America shed their soccer cleats for football cleats, Nipper's love for the Beautiful Game only grew. Seeing the Tatu-led Dallas Sidekicks play as north Texas was enraptured in the mania surrounding the MISL team's thrilling, seven game triumph for the Championship in May of 1987, aided his addiction, as did the family move to soccer-friendly France and Senegal. During his time in each foreign port, Nipper relished the manner in which his favorite game was also everyone else's, which was the opposite of what it had been in White County of northeast Arkansas.

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The Story Behind Pan Ector, Denton's Favorite (and Growing) Printing Company

Categories: Media

All photos by Jane R. LeBlanc
L-R: Co-owners Drew Elam, Michael Little and Nick Webber, plus full-time designer Thomas Rodgers.
You may have seen them at local bands' concerts, or maybe a printing event at Rubber Gloves, or perhaps at the Denton Holiday Lighting Festival. Behind a multi-colored mountain of T-shirts, a six-armed printing press looms, spun 'round and 'round by a group of guys as the duds are pressed with ink and removed for drying. You may even know who they are. Most do.

They're Pan Ector, the Denton-based printing press company who's made a name for themselves by printing on-site at events. Not that they planned it that way.

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At The Ticket, Some of the Best Bits Come in Small Bites

Categories: Media

Mike Brooks
There are myriad reasons The Ticket has dominated Dallas-Fort Worth airwaves for 20 years, all part of a formula that's proven to be impossible to replicate. One ingredient that builds a sense of culture around the station is the so-called "Drops." Small sound bites, usually taken out of context, inserted into the hosts' conversations can often transform bland moments into instances of high hilarity. Some Drops are taken from movies or commercials, but most are culled from the mouths of Ticket hosts themselves, usually to the victimized host's chagrin, which is what makes it so much fun for the listeners.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of our favorite radio stations, here some of our favorite Drops. To pay tribute to the popular voices of the station, we're sticking to Drops that the hosts are responsible for, whether they like it or not.

See slideshow: Day 2 of Ticketstock

Georgio's Not-So-Silent-Moment: In the wake of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, The Ticket proved to be a solace for listeners as joking was held in check and sports talk was almost nonexistent. But as with any bunch of buds, some needed laughter eventually came and lightened some heavy hearts. The Musers' George Dunham innocently missed an intro cue for a spot that encouraged listeners to observe a moment of silence, and instead of adhering, Dunham mistakenly went on the air to take a call, saying, "Uh, Paul, in, what ..." as his confusion became apparent.

More than a decade later, Dunham remembers that moment with clarity, "It was a total mind shutdown on my part. I was really zoned out," he tells us. "We laugh about it now, but I was really distraught about it then. I heard the music trail out and thought that was the end of the moment. I really did go into a deep mode of prayer and thought, but I came back [on the air] at the wrong time."

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The Ticket's Gordon Keith Talks About the Creation of His Funniest Radio Characters

Categories: Media

Stanton Stephens
For years, one of the hallmarks of The Musers -- the morning drive show on KTCK-AM 1310 The Ticket -- is the parade of characters Gordon Keith rolls out on a daily basis. P1s have collectively cracked up at Fake Jerry Jones' incoherent ramblings, Fake Nolan Ryan's fixation on snow monkeys and Fake Tiger Woods' arrested development, but some of the show's best characters are the more esoteric creations of Keith, who uses them to push the limits of comedy and awkwardness among his co-hosts, George Dunham and Craig Miller.

"My favorite high-concept, failed character is 'Man Who's Trying to Have a Period,' says Keith, or as he's known to P1s who love him and hate him, The Great Gordo. "George stopped the show for a minute after that one."

See also: Mike Bacsik's Radio Rebirth

As The Ticket marks its 20th anniversary as Dallas' favorite sports radio station -- and a model for sports radio nationwide -- Mixmaster got with Keith, who let us in on the creation and background of some of the characters he's created over the years.

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American Idol Lawsuit Claims Show Exploits Black Contestants' Rap Sheets for Ratings

Categories: Media

Creative Commons/Andy Castro
A $250 million lawsuit filed against American Idol by 10 black former contestants who got disqualified (including Dallas' own Akron Watson) has the media asking if the talent show is racist. But considering the success many other black contestants have had on the program, that's not the right question. In fact, the lawsuit is more specific, alleging that American Idol applied an unusually heavy hand against black male contestants with criminal records. The claim is backed with statistics: According to the suit, 31 percent of all American Idol semifinalists who were black guys were disqualified for reasons unrelated to their singing, the suit says, while "there has never been a single white (or non-black) contestant disqualified from American Idol -- not ever."

Producers used the rap sheets of black contestants, the suit claims, "to scandal-monger Nielsen ratings while reinforcing the age-old stereotype of the 'black criminal.'" Acting like an equal-opportunity singing competition at times, but whoring race equality away in cases where it might help the ratings? That sounds more like the American Idol we know.

Many on the Internet are raging that the plaintiffs are just looking for money. In that case, let's examine the criminal records and resulting fall-out of some contestants not involved with this lawsuit.

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It's Settled: Dallas Needs Better Arts Criticism

Categories: Media

Left to right: Charissa Terranova, Charles Dee Mitchell, Peter Simek, Jerome Weeks, Frances Colpitt
After last week's hastily organized arts discussion with Mayor Mike, there was much to sift through: Do white men have the answers? Are artists, as the Mayor put it, really just "human capital"? How do we get artists to move here and stay here, and which ones do we thrown money at? There were moments of clarity on the panel, but no real radical ideas, and no real focus on the various art communities in Dallas.

See also:
How to Improve the Arts in Dallas: The Best Lessons from Mayor Rawlings' Symposium

One topic that merits revisiting, however, is the need for more criticism. It was tackled last week at CentralTrak, by KERA's Jerome Weeks; former Observer writer Charles Dee Mitchell; D Magazine's Peter Simek; Charissa Terranova, Assistant Professor of Aesthetic Studies at UTD; and Frances Colpitt, the Deedie Potter Rose Chair of Art History at TCU. Together, they attempted to answer a more specific question: What is art criticism in Texas, and do we need it?

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The Dallas Observer Has a New App

Categories: Media

Today marks the arrival of our new and improved Dallas Observer app, your pocket guide to the city and direct line to our always fair-and-balanced take on things. It features:

- Event listings and concert calendars searchable by date, artist, neighborhood, venue or genre
- Restaurant listings searchable by cuisine type and neighborhood
- Access to daily blogs for updates on local news, politics, music, food and arts
- Editors' picks of the best things to do and reviews from our writers
- Slideshows of local nightlife, concerts and events
- Access to Voice Daily Deals spotlighting terrific deals from local events and merchants

I've spent some time with it, and it's a pretty seamless way to access our many, many buckets of diverse content. If you're so inclined, download it from iTunes and Google Play. And if you have any problems with it, email me directly and I'll pass your concerns on to someone smarter than me.

Thanks, as always, for your patronage.

The Dallas Observer is Looking for a Contributing Writer/Blogger/Reporter/Etc.

Categories: Media

The last guy didn't work out.
The Dallas Observer is looking for a go-to freelancer to contribute stories of all make, model and size across all of our non-news channels: music, nightlife, food, drinks, arts, culture and the like.

The Ideal Candidate ("I.C.") either is a full-time freelancer or has a "day job" that leaves plenty of time for reporting and writing. The I.C. should have some experience writing for an online or print publication, should possess a unique voice and style, and should know and love equally Dallas' various social playgrounds.

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Eleven Programming Ideas for D-TV, D Magazine's New TV Station

Categories: Film and TV, Media

D Doctors.jpg
Once featured in a special issue about Dallas' Best Toddler Docs, this baby will team up with Ellen Page in the new sitcom, Baby Steps.
D Magazine announced yesterday that it will team up with the local TV station KTXD and rebrand it D-TV.

The new station will continue to broadcast KTXD's current offerings, including the news show The Texas Daily and the lifestyle show Texas Living, which will be renamed D Living. It will also produce a new morning talk show "in the spirit of The View," with Tim Rogers presumably playing the role of dreadlocked Lesbian comic.

But that will only fill up half the day. Here are some suggestions for how to fill the rest of it.

Most Beautiful Women vs. Best Doctors: A Real World-Road Rules-style competition reality show, shot on location in exotic locales like Garland and that one parking deck on Main Street that's always empty.

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